—From "Grace Church in Salem, The First One Hundred Years 1858-1958"by Lilly S. Abbott. Published by the Grace Church Centennial Committee, Salem, Massachusetts, 1958.
By 1924 it was evident that the building which had housed the original congregation was no longer adequate. Its interior was shabby. Structurally, it was unsafe. It was possible to stand against one wall and shake the whole building. yet, people loved the old church. To tear it down was like wrecking one's ancestral home, so hallowed was it by traditions and by memories indescribably precious. But there was no choice. On April 20 at a special parish meeting, it was voted to erect a new church building.
Once this decision was made, enthusiasm mounted for the new edifice. What should be its structural form? Some parishioners felt that building of Georgian design should be the style for anything built in Salem. The Rev. Howard Weir, then rector, and the architect, Mr. Philip Horton Smith, did not so agree. They felt that the Prayer Book service is more effective in a church of Gothic design. The "Georgians" were the most vocal, however, so plans for a Georgian edifice were completed.
A few months later, however, Mr. Smith was informed that the earlier decision had been reconsidered in favor of a Gothic building. He was asked to make a contribution of the completed Georgian plans which he generously agreed to do. The drawings for the present structure were completed. He was given a limit as to possible expenditure, and the building was completed for several thousand dollars less than the amount. The total cost of the church including extras and furnishings was $114,004.25.
The cornerstone was laid by the Right Reverend Charles Lewis Slattery, Bishop of Massachusetts, on Sunday, October 24, 1926 at 4:30 in the afternoon amid a downpour of rain. The was offered by the full choir of the church who were protected by a canopy. The ceremonies began with the singing of the hymn "The church's One Foundation" followed by the reciting of Psalm 15, the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, and the singing of the hymn "Jesus Shall Reign Where'er the Sun."
Services were held for the first time on Sunday, June 26, 1927. The consecration took place on Friday, St. Simon and St. Jude's Day, October 28, 1927.
In 1943, Charlotte Young Cadigan (1917-1943), the wife of The Reverend George Leslie Cadigan (rector from 1942-1948) died. Her untimely death came as a terrible shock to the all who loved her. The Reredos in the Lady Chapel was given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Charlotte Young Cadigan by her devoted friends